“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” (Confucius) Wisdom can be defined as many things; the amount of intelligence ones brain sustains, by somebody’s experiences in life, or just simply by good judgment. Others responses to what they considered wisdom to be were received with multiple views like: “It’s like a smarter way of saying knowledge but having more of it,” or “Wisdom is something that gives people character.” But is that what today’s society considers wisdom to be symbolizes? There are 2 main categories in which many of today’s people place people in for wisdom. These include the “book smart” population and the “street smart” population.
Book smart people may be the 4.0 students; however they are confined on the amount of wisdom they can apply. Instead, they focus on sticking with the facts rather than experiencing it for themselves. “You don’t know good until you’ve seen bad,” as some say it. This population of book smart people also center themselves mainly on the quantity of knowledge they absorb rather than the quality of it. In the modern world this can have many set backs. Book smart people may know the facts but can they usefully engage it?
Under the definition of knowledge shows a word that defines street smarts completely; experience. Street smart people get a sense of the world themselves instead of blunt facts given by the mind-numbing white pages of books. By gaining experience, they get to learn from mistakes and improve from them which can be tremendously important in the world today. The street smart population is one of the most independently grouped people in society. They have the wisdom to know what works and what doesn’t. Experience can also teach many useful life lessons which only makes a man wiser. “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Wisdom is many things put in one no matter if someone is placed in the book smart people or the street smart people. Knowing the facts can only get you so far. The “hands-on” approach gives people a feel of the world for themselves and with experience comes wisdom. Life in general and how one learns from it is wisdom. It isn’t just about being what society today considers “intelligent” or “smart”. A wise man had seen it all, done it all, and has lived to tell a tale. “Who is wise? He that learns from everyone.” (Benjamin Franklin)